Conceptual understanding is a crucial stage in a child’s mathematical development. The Learning Principle from the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) states as one of the six principles put forward, “Students must learn mathematics with understanding, actively building new knowledge from experience and prior knowledge.” Summit teachers engage instructional methods, including the use of manipulatives, visuals, literature, math discussions, and problem solving that provide students opportunities to make sense of the mathematical concepts.
In second grade, students engaged in counting collections. They had a variety of loose items to count, as well as larger items that they had to count without taking them out of the package. The images show how Summit students are figuring how the total number of tissues using their counting knowledge to deepen the understanding of the base 10 system.